In the 1980s, there was a trend at my high school in sunny California for LL Bean’s classic rubber boot, worn year-round, of course.
Fashions come in cycles ever generation or so, and today the morning news is carrying the story that there are some 60,000 backorders for Bean boots, with another 40,000 expected by the end of the year.
According to Boston.com:
Between 60,000-100,000 people have placed orders for the boots that won’t be delivered until after the holidays, according to L.L. Bean spokesperson Carolyn Beem. In all, the company said they anticipate selling “in the range” of 450,000 pairs of bean boots this year, a significant increase over last year.
Why the increase in sales? Well, blame teens and millennials.
“Younger people are buying them. They’re all over college campuses and high schools,” Beem said. “Without changing anything, they’re back in style.”
In an attempt to make up the shortage, L.L. Bean spent $1 million to purchase another molding machine that makes the rubber bottoms of the shoes, Beem said. The rubber bottoms are made in Lewiston, Maine, while the stitching of the leather tops takes place in Brunswick, Maine.
“We’ve bumped up production – we have three shifts going, we’re hiring new people,” Beem said. “We’re doing all we can to lessen the wait time.”
The Bean Boot, also known as the Maine Hunting Shoe, was created by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912. Wonder if the kids care about trivia?
And for those of you who celebrate St. Nicholas Day, leaving a boot outside on the night of December 5th, make sure it’s not from Bean. It might not be there in the morning. — CC